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Industry leaders highlight the important role of hydrogen mobility at policymaker workshop

EU policymakers, industry players and knowledge parties in hydrogen mobility came together for an online workshop last month to highlight the successes of EU projects and understand future opportunities in the sector. The workshop was co-organised by Hydrogen Europe and Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking – funded projects (H2ME2, ZEFER, 3EMOTION, REVIVE, HECTOR and JIVE2) and was attended by over 90 participants, predominantly policymakers across Europe.

It covered road vehicles, refuelling infrastructure, pan-European projects and policy insights in light of the EU’s target of reducing emissions by 90% by 2050 and the critical role of transport in achieving that target.

Daniel Fraile, Chief Policy Officer of Hydrogen Europe, opened the session with a call for support from the automotive industry and member states, highlighting the need for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure numbers.

Some of the highlights included:

  • Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director at Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, stated, β€œThe Clean Hydrogen Partnership strives to foster developments on the entire full chain of the hydrogen technologies, from trucks and buses to stacks and tanks.”
  • Beatriz Yordi, Director of Carbon Markets & Clean Mobility at DG CLIMA, announced the new EU proposal (published on February 14th) involving ambitious new CO2 emissions targets for new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) from 2030 onwards.
  • MEP Ismail Ertug spoke about the ambitious targets set out in the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) and its crucial role in deploying hydrogen refuelling stations.
  • Lisa Ruf, Consulting Director at Element Energy, stated the impact of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership in launching passenger car, bus and truck projects and made recommendations for policymakers.
  • Sabela Sarandeses, Business Developer Manager Green Hydrogen at Iberdrola, discussed hydrogen as a solution for hard-to-abate sectors and successfully deploying vehicles and HRS simultaneously.

H2Mobility saw a 100% growth in demand in 2022 from the previous year. The HRS operators are expanding 350 bar refuelling to all its existing 700 bar stations and future stations as it is cheaper for the customer and is expected to be more competitive.

Nikolas Iwan, CEO of H2 Mobility, believes the EU Delegated Acts on Renewable Hydrogen, alongside the AFIR, will mean more affordable green hydrogen and more affordable vehicles that will result in greater uptake across Europe.

The audience indicated an interest in the policy recommendations for boosting hydrogen mobility (49%) as the main reason for attending, alongside learning about the experiences of EU projects deploying hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure (30%). Nearly half (46%) believe the cost to be the biggest challenge for the hydrogen mobility market. Clarity of policy direction is required to increase investment in decarbonising transport.

For REVIVE, Dimitri Van den Borre, project manager at Tractebel Engie, presented the project and stated that “stakeholder management is key for a successful project, it is vital to have all actors at the table from an early stage on.” He also stressed that it is critical to have the drivers on board for the success of the project.”